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Fear and triumph

Is it silly to fear dead people? Perhaps silly is not the right word.

I’ve taken on this Ancestor Challenge, along with some wonderful folks engaged in their own searches and journeys. Ras Boulds — my dear grandmother’s dad — is my challenge. He’s always been an enigma. He appears to be more. But I didn’t really want to see how much more.

But others wouldn’t let me. As I found hints of Ras’ other life, they found more — and refused to let me turn away.

Thanks to them, I looked afresh at documents I’d had for some time. And saw something totally new: on the 1910 census, a short code — M2. It means twice married.

A quiet affirmation of a marriage certificate with a differently spelled name, a child named for him, a notation on a death certificate.

M2. Is this why my great-grandmother never seemed to smile, why she traveled without him, why they left Hempstead, why my grandmother looks nothing like her dad?

But they stayed together, for forty-some years. He built her a house, retired half a continent away at her behest, died not 18 months after she did.


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